Prescription drug abuse occurs when a prescription medication is used in a way other than intended or when it is taken without a prescription. The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that prescription medications are the second most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Other signs of prescription drug abuse may include forging or stealing written prescriptions, taking pills from someone else, getting prescriptions from multiple doctors, and taking higher doses of the medication than prescribed.
At Seattle Drug Treatment Centers, prescription drug abuse is treated in the same way that illegal drug abuse is treated. Education about the nature of abuse and addiction, as well as group and individual therapy, and relapse prevention are part of the treatment programs that are available for you. For more information about your treatment options, call (206) 508-1364.
Opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, fentanyl, morphine, and codeine are all easy to get ahold of. They are all also highly addictive. This combination makes them extremely popular among drug users. Medically, they are prescribed to patients as pain relievers.
Sedatives are another type of prescription drug that is commonly abused. Also known as depressants or tranquilizers, these medications slow brain activity. They are often prescribed to help with anxiety and sleeping disorders. Among those sedatives that are the most commonly abused are Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Lunesta, and Nembutal.
Stimulants are also a very commonly abused prescription drug. In fact, they are so addictive and so frequently abused that they are very rarely prescribed any more. As a medication, stimulants are used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. As a drug, they provide a drastic increase in alertness, attention, and energy.
Because the category of prescription drugs is made up of so many individual drugs, the symptoms of abuse vary greatly. However, there are a few that are common.
Opioid abuse often leads to constipation, depression, low blood pressure, sweating, and confusion. Sedative abuse leads to symptoms such as drowsiness, unsteady walking, poor judgment, confusion, and dizziness. Finally, stimulant abuse often exhibits itself through weight loss, irritability, insomnia, agitation, high blood pressure, impulsive behavior, and restlessness.
There are a number of signs that close friends and family members can also look out for. These include the stealing or forging of prescriptions as well as excessive mood swings, a dramatic increase or decrease in sleep, and the appearance of being high.
Sometimes, the abuse of prescription drugs is labeled in the public as "safe" or "clean." Though they might seem different than street drugs like heroin or cocaine since a doctor prescribes them, the abuse of prescription drugs is just as serious.
It is very important to look into drug rehab treatment if you or a loved one is having trouble with prescription drug dependence. At Seattle Drug Treatment Centers, there are numerous treatment programs and rehabs specifically geared towards addiction to prescription drugs. These programs are designed to help you safely get clean and stay that way for the long term.